Cuban said during a radio appearance on the Ben and Skin Show that he nearly pulled off a trade for the superstar back in the summer of 2007, when Bryant was unhappy with the direction the Lakers were going in the wake of trading Shaquille O'Neal.
"When I was doing Dancing With The Stars, I was taking breaks because I was talking to Kobe's agent because Kobe wanted to get traded," Cuban said, according to a transcription from The Dallas Morning News. "Literally, between Dancing With The Stars practices I had thought we traded for Kobe Bryant. I even talked to their owner and thought we were going to have done deal, and [Lakers GM] Mitch Kupchak changed [Kobe's] mind and brought him back."
It's unclear what the Mavericks would have had to part ways with in order to obtain Bryant, but does it really matter? At that point in time, most teams would have given up virtually anything for the future Hall of Famer. That '07 edition of the Mavs had a roster that included the likes of Jason Terry, Jerry Stackhouse, Devin Harris, Erick Dampier and Josh Howard, any of whom could have been involved in a deal. One guy who apparently wasn't part of any potential trade for Bryant was Dirk Nowitzki.
"It wasn't Dirk for Kobe," said Cuban, who also admitted that the Lakers made a wise decision in the end by keeping Bryant.
Nowitzki and the Mavericks, of course, captured an NBA title in 2011. Had Bryant been added to the mix that wild summer, though, there's no telling how many rings would be on Cuban's fingers.